Shiva’s Spectacular Gender Divide – Part 6/6

male-domination-1My own emotional reactions to perceived suffering—mine and others—were always so intense that I was often paralyzed into depression. By the time I was a teenager, I already knew that in order to survive, I would have to make peace with the patriarchy.

Random investigations into the nature of reality proved to me that the foul concept of brawn over brain had distorted the collective psyche; everywhere—among rich and poor, educated and illiterate—I saw perverted masculinity. Instead of cherishing their womenfolk, men seemed to want to triumph over them. And by doing so, they smashed feminine self-esteem to smithereens. It was as if their own sisters, wives and daughters were arch rivals to  be diminished and trounced. As a result, sexual union was often reduced to the usurpation of the female body, and marriage, in many cases, to no more than a legal form of rape.

Fortunately I stumbled onto the priceless tools of eastern philosophy in my late teens and was able to transform my bitter perspective. Focusing on the theories of karma and reincarnation, I trained myself to apply this new spiritual knowledge to all situations, past and present, with broad and generous strokes. My intent was to restore myself to peace so  I could get on with life—and hurray, it worked! Soon everything really did begin to fall into place. Best of all, the process turned out to be bright, quick and beautiful.

Contrary to mainstream thinking, karmic software is not designed to punish; instead it throws those who consistently abuse others into situations where perpetrator becomes victim. Gradually we come to see that what each of us perceives with our finite human eyes is but a fragment of the staggeringly grand cosmic picture. We see there is ultimately no separation, that we are truly One. This process produces empathy and the melting of destructive patterns. And therefore karma is our friend, for its noble aim is to help us evolve.

We may see a husband striking his wife, for instance, and become gripped by a terrible anger; however, not being omniscient, we cannot see the events (in this or past incarnations) that preceded this beating. Perhaps the woman being brutalized has brutalized; the molested child has molested; the honest man reduced to poverty by a ruthless rival has himself been a lethal shark.

None of which means that we should stand by passively and watch evil being done; on the contrary! Humans of integrity must always be ready and willing to protect the weak, the gullible and the innocent, even while accepting that there is more to any picture than meets the ordinary eye; in simple words, when we step in to help, we must do so as instruments of the Divine, and not from the limited ego.

gender_equality_cartoonIn an ideal world, man and woman would consider each other equal, but different. After all, in any partnership, one seeks to ally oneself with another who is endowed with skills or resources that we ourselves do not have. It requires no big stretch of the imagination to see how much stronger a couple can be when there is respect, love, harmony and co-operation between them.

As for those extraordinary men and women who commit themselves to celibacy in order to liberate themselves from the chains of mundane existence, they too must find ways to unite male and female aspects within themselves—a process which entails generating a healthy respect for all facets of their inner being. For both the committed couple and the celibate, Tantra is one teaching that offers a variety of profound solutions.

The human race appears to have oscillated between diametrically opposed archetypes—absolute patriarchal power, and the holistic paradigm of ancient cultures, where both male and female are revered as divine halves of a whole. Physical sex alone can never satiate the human soul; what is called for is the intimate bonding of fundamentally different equals, and the genuine wonder and appreciation of one for the other. In so empowering each other, ancient wounds heal within the complex human psyche: man is encouraged to grow into awesome grandeur, and woman reclaims her sacred role as primal healer.

If we are to transform prevalent disturbing male-female equations, each of us must first become aware of the insidiously deep layers of conditioning that have seeped into the collective subconscious. Then we must shine our investigative torch fearlessly onto our own dysfunctional ways of viewing the opposite sex, and melt the blocks within our own psyches—by any means necessary. To refine one’s own self, as one of my gurus said, is to radically refine our experience of the world.

And while it can be agonizing—sometimes even impossible—to use the mind to unearth embedded the subconscious codes that block us from giving and receiving joy, it is a task worth leaping into, for the rewards can be rich.

For those who wish to begin this herculean but wildly exciting task, I recommend seeking out an authentic form of meditation—such as Atma-Vichara (Self-investigation), which is the direct path to higher consciousness as taught by Ramana Maharshi. As committed seekers have discovered through the ages, direct investigation of one’s true nature has the power to dissolve all relative darkness, along with the countless fear-based separations humans automatically set up as barriers between self and other.

After all, in the realm of the Absolute we are neither man nor woman, ugly nor beautiful, young nor old, rich nor poor, intelligent nor dumb—instead, we are, every single one of us, the perfect manifestation of one single energy, whose ground is the infinite and incandescent Divine.

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12 thoughts on “Shiva’s Spectacular Gender Divide – Part 6/6

  1. Indeed Mira you are so right…and Manu was the original Male Chauvinist Pig. But there is still one glimmer of hope that I see in India, in the midst of all the darkness, ignorance and unconsciousness. This is the simple but important fact that India remains one of the few places on Earth where the Great Goddess continues to be widely worshippped – an unbroken tradition over 5000 years old.

  2. Miraji, thank you for highlighting this nasty state of affairs. If each of us looks at how we have been sucked into this long-standing propaganda about what it means to be male and female, and work toward bridging this false gender divide within ourselves, the consciousness of the planet will gradually return to its harmonized state.

  3. Pingback: In Order To Survive | Gabriel Constans

  4. Can someone explain this contradiction in the theory of Karma…..In the last life I did something wrong to someone. So in this life, I repay him. Then in the next life he repays me, then in the next life……ad infinitum. I think this theory is inherently flawed……

    • Ajay,

      Thanks as usual for all your wonderful comments! (I am posting this reply again since I don’t see it up – wonder what happened?)

      As for this comment of yours: Can someone explain this contradiction in the theory of Karma…..In the last life I did something wrong to someone. So in this life, I repay him. Then in the next life he repays me, then in the next life……ad infinitum. I think this theory is inherently flawed……

      Yes, to those who don’t understand karmic theory completely, it does not make sense. Read MY KARMA ATE YOUR DOGMA — perhaps that will partially answer your question. If not, let me give it another brief try — in order to understand karma, you have to take the time and effort to cultivate what in eastern philosophy is called “the view”. Trying to understand karma without the view is like hearing one single note in a magnificent symphony and making a judgment that the entire symphony is flawed — just because you don’t like, or comprehend the beauty, of the particular note you heard. (For instance, you cannot say you believe in karma, but not in reincarnation, because they are two sides of the same coin).

      Now Karma is defined simply as: thought, speech and action — nothing more. From thought speech and action consequences flow — which can occur either in this, or future lifetimes. As long as one keeps creating karma based on believing one is one’s body and mind, and nothing more (meaning that one is unaware that one is really Spirit, and not Flesh (to use your word), this ridiculous drama, this vicious cycle goes on. But the moment the seeker realizes his/her true nature, which is that he or she is in truth the eternal Spirit, the game ends, and the real journey begins.

      Jesus said: as you sow so you reap. This is karma. Was he wrong about this? All the eastern teachings are encapsulated in the original words of Jesus — start your own research and you will reach your own conclusions. Reincarnation, for instance, was part of church dogma until two bishops in 5 century AD deliberately excised it from the teachings. Etc etc. I wanted the truth, for myself, so i dug beyond what was drilled into me….but everyone must do this for himself/herself — no one can convince another unless there is an open-ness and acceptance of the true depth and grandeur of what our own sages had to say. In essence, beneath religion lies mystical truth — and it is that that I subscribe to, not the surface. Love, Mira

  5. We realize that we are spiritual beings only after travelling through the rabbit hole. Nature does not want us to be get wise before hand. Nature wants us to continue what it started. It gives body and mind. It gives hunger and food. The story does not end there. When the stomach is full, the other hunger crops up. Male and female are caught up in this creative circle. There is proverb “Unless one gets married wisdom is not sighted”. This is a great journey designed by someone who is extraordinarily intelligent. One is allowed to feel bright after being beaten black and blue. We have the pride having gone through the rabbit hole, with the experience of plasure or we may call it invited pain. Mira, your expression is excellent. I enjoyed reading. May you bring many more and brighten us. Thanks.

    • Yes, that’s right — we all have to go through the rabbit hole, or in my case, a million black holes, before we can emerge into the light! Thanks and hope you FOLLOW the blog so you get regular notifications. Om Shanti.

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